Robinson College News
September 2020

What's happening at Robinson and how you can join in

Freshers 2020
After months of meticulous planning by the College, in partnership with the RCSA and MCR Committees, we were delighted to welcome new members of the Robinson community last weekend. Over the next two weeks, Freshers will participate in socially distanced activities including household picnics, welcome drinks, MCR Committee Meet and Greet, College Tours, Cambridge Scavenger Hunt and much more.
Daisy Thomas, Vice-President of the RCSA, comments: "The last few days have been incredibly busy trying to organise different Fresher events but I think we've pulled it off! We have been running socially distanced garden parties in household groups as well as online events every night. The Freshers all seem so keen to get to know everyone despite restrictions - the volunteer team has also been working incredibly hard and I'm so grateful for all of their help".
As we await the return of the rest of our students, we are thrilled to see Robinson full of life once more, and look forward to the term ahead.
Freshers picnicking in the college gardens sitting around a table in a tent looking at the camera






Reunited - virtually!

This year Robinson celebrated the matriculation of year groups 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 200, 2005 and 2010 in a virtual space. For the first time in the Robinson's history, we were prevented from inviting our Alumni to a Reunion Dinner, but were able to take the celebrations to them via a screen. The online 2020 Reunion programme included a welcome address from the Warden, Professor David Yates as well as greetings from the President of the Robinson College Alumni Association (Pegasus), Dr Stephen Trudgill. Robinson's Head Chef Gary Dougan prepared a celebratory menu and invited our virtual diners to take up his ‘Rate My Plate’ challenge to re-create his menu at home. Read more about this competition and other elements of the Reunion Day Virtual Celebrations here. We hope to be able to invite you to join us here ar Robinson for your Reunion celebrations in 2021.

Calls answered - The 2020 Telephone Campaign

This year saw a Telephone Campaign like no other at Robinson. A team of 13 carefully selected students called alumni from all over the world, not from a call room at Robinson, but from their homes. The callers really enjoyed chatting with alumni and hearing their stories from the early days of Robinson, as well as the connections and career advice they received. One of the callers, Max (Law, 2019) remarked, ‘The campaign was a first-hand experience of how Robinson helps create kind and successful people – speaking to and getting advice from alumni was something that will stay with me for many years to come’. From the feedback we have received in the Development Office, alumni have really enjoyed the calls too as we have never received so many emails saying how nice it was to talk to the callers and it was great to be able to feed that back to the call team.

The focus of this year’s fundraising was ‘Student Wellbeing’ and so far over £131,000 has been pledged in donations, of which at least £30,000 will qualify for match funding from the Harding Challenge Fund. Thank you so much! With the Harding match-funding and the very generous match-funding gift provided by one of our alumni, there really hasn’t been a better time to support Robinson’s students. There is still a way to go though to enable us to create the welfare team that could make even a bigger difference to those studying at Robinson, so if you are in the position to help this year, every gift counts and will help us to lead the way in student wellbeing at Cambridge.


The 2020 Robinson Essay Prize  
With a record number of 300 submissions, the winning and highly commended entries for the 2020 Robinson Essay Prize have been announced. The Robinson College Essay Prize is open to all students currently in Year 12 (Lower Sixth, or equivalent) at a UK School. It is designed to give students the opportunity to develop and showcase their independent study and writing skills. By creating the opportunity for students to experience the type of work that they might be expected to do at Cambridge, we hope to encourage inquisitive and industrious students from all backgrounds to apply to the university – and hopefully to Robinson College. Please read more here.  
New Schools' Liaison Officer joins The Admissions Team
Ruth Moss has recently joined the Admissions Team as our new Schools' Liaison Officer.
"My first two weeks as Schools’ Liaison Officer have clearly shown me that a vibrant and enthusiastic commitment to widening participation exists at Robinson College. My involvement with outreach as an undergraduate - albeit at the other end of Grange Road - had already made me aware of this. Now I look forward to supporting such commitment further in my new role. Alongside the rest of the Admissions Team, I will be implementing outreach strategies that are both innovative and effective despite the uncertain landscape. I will be working with current, former, and future members of the College to support Robinson’s and the University’s widening participation agendas.'
If you would like to discuss Robinson’s outreach and widening participation work, or have any queries, please get in touch via".
To protect Robinson People
At the very beginning of the Lockdown, back in April, Dr K K Chan (1986, Electrical and Information Sciences) generously gifted several hundred masks to help Robinson’s staff protect themselves and those around them. Now a new consignment of 500 masks is making its way to Grange Road thank to the generosity of Jacky Yuen (2008, Engineering). We are very grateful for their generosity, consideration and kindness.
Getting ready for Michaelmas 2020 issue
The current Easter 2020 issue of Bin Brook, featuring stories of Law at Robinson and beyond, is available on-line. The Michaelmas 2020 issue focuses on the theme of the performing arts, including music, drama and film, both in College and in the lives of Robinson Alumni. If you would like to share your experiences of your involvement in Brickhouse Theatre Company, film or music at Robinson, or if you have pursued a career in the field since then, please send your stories, memories and phtographs by email to
Beyond COVID-19: The Future of Medicine: Robinson alumni join the University's Alumni Festival programme
We hope you had a chance to access some of the virtual sessions prepared for Cambridge University's first ever-virtual Alumni Festival. Recordings of a number of sessions are now available to view on the Dear World, Yours Cambridge YouTube channel, from sustainability to psychology, and race to rowing.
As part of the Festival programme, three of Robinson's medical alumni, Professors Wendy Barclay, Adam Fox and John O’Brien, took part in a live webinar addressing the issue of Beyond COVID-19: The Future of Medicine. Our guest speakers shared stories of their time at Robinson and spoke in more detail about their respective fields and what the future may hold for researchers and for patients. You can watch the recording of this live webinar here.
A new Warden for Robinson
We would like to thank everyone who participated in the New Warden Alumni Survey. The position has been advertised widely in the national press and a new Warden is expected to join the College in October 2021. 
As we look forward to welcoming our new Head of House, we will be celebrating the remarkable achievements of Robinson's second Warden, Professor David Yates. In the final year of his 20-year term of office, we plan to offer all our alumni the opportunity to celebrate David's contribution, both to the College and to the study and practice of Law.
Following the rules of social distancing and the governmental guidelines on holding mass events, regrettably we cannot make any plans for face-to-face meetings in the near future, whether big or small. Please keep an eye on the events pages of our website, and on your email inbox, for further news about any forthcoming virtual events. 
Be sure to add our email address to your address book so our emails get to your inbox: Update your personal details by filling in the Alumni Questionnaire.
With very best wishes from all at Robinson,

Sarah, Catherine, Norbert and Helen
Robinson College Development Office